Broadside No. 3 – an author advertisement

Hear ye hear ye me mateys!  I announce an additional broadside to me Captain’s log.  What is a broadside ye ask?  Traditionally:

  1. A broadside is the side of a ship, the battery of cannon on one side of a warship; or their coordinated fire in naval warfare. From the 16th century until the early decades of the steamship, vessels had rows of guns set in each side of the hull. Firing all guns on one side of the ship became known as a “broadside“. source
  2. A broadside is a large sheet of paper printed on one side only. Historically, broadsides were posters, announcing events or proclamations, or simply advertisements. source

What does this mean for me mateys?  Well tomorrow I will publish the third edition of me broadside that will highlight a specific favorite author and their work.  Who ye ask?  It’s a surprise . . .


The Captain’s Log – above world AND mirage (Jenn Reese)

Ahoy there mateys!  I read these books back to back so you get two book reviews in one!

above world and mirage (Jenn Reese)

I first learned about this author by reading her adult book, jade tiger, and decided to see what else she had written.  These are the first two books in the Above World series.  In a world where humans have combined with biotech to survive, two friends Aluna and Hoku, leave their underwater city to try to save their community.  In doing so they meet allies from the Above World in a war that encompasses them all.

The first book is not as fun in my mind as the second one.  Unlike the rather plausible narrative of the second book, the first book was full of fortuitous meetings.  Character A meets character B on a page by accident and happens to help them in some fashion.  Oh look in the next chapter character A is in deathly trouble!  Character B swoops to the rescue out of the blue!  Lucky they met isn’t it?  Rinse and repeat.  Also book one had so many locales and introductions to the various Above World peoples.  I get why we meet them.  I just wish it didn’t feel so forced.

Book two was much better.  There was basically one main setting and a second smaller one.  The new characters’ introductions feel much more natural.  The storyline seems a lot better organized.  Some of the plot twists were just plain entertaining.  One of the main things I loved about this series is that it has a relationship of a boy and girl who remain just friends.  Their friendship is steady, loving, and enjoyable.  Platonic love and companionship stay constant.  It was lovely.  Not to say that each party does not have love interests of their own in the books but it was a nice change from the recent books that I have read that not everyone is in love with the main character.

I did enjoy the different cultures mentioned though I would have liked a little more detail in that regard.  The tech possibilities also could have been a little more detailed.  I think the author gets away with the tech in the long run though because it is in a world where tech is dying or is misunderstood.  The books had both strong female and male characters.  Even though I liked these books, I am not sure if I will go out of my way to read the third.  Have any of you read it and if so should I go for it?

Side Note: I did not censor the mermaid photo used above.  I found it that way.  Funny no?

Here is what Amazon has to say about book one:

A suspenseful sci-fi escapade plucks two children out of the ocean for a thrilling adventure.

Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony’s survival is at risk. The Kampii’s breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubborn and bold enough to face the terrors of land to search for way to save their people. But can Aluna’s fierce determination and fighting skills and Hoku’s tech-savvy keep them safe? Set in a world where overcrowding has led humans to adapt — growing tails to live under the ocean or wings to live on mountains — here is a ride through a future where greed and cruelty have gone unchecked, but the loyalty of friends remains true.

To visit the author’s website and blog go to:

Jenn Reese – Author

To buy these books visit:

above world – Book

mirage – Book

The Captain’s Log – percy jackson series (Rick Riordan)

Ahoy there me mateys!

percy jackson and the olympians (Rick Riordan)

This review veers off me standard course because I am reviewing an entire series at once!  Five books set in modern day in a world where Greek gods and creatures still exist.  Main character – a young boy named Percy Jackson (duh!) who finds out he is a half-blood i.e. a demi-god and is part of a prophecy to save the world.  Sound familiar?  Kinda reminds me of Harry Potter except with America as the center of the universe rather than England.

What is up with young heroes with smart sidekick friends who dash danger and always seem like the last to know what is going on around them and yet win every time?  I mean come on . . . dude finds out monsters are out to kill him constantly and yet doesn’t do research and study to learn every possible creature that can attack him and their weaknesses etc.  Somehow he spends his time practicing fighting and just comes up with ideas that save the day on a whim?

Of course there is the loyalty he shows the people he loves which is wonderful.  I adore having weird Greek monsters appear that I have never heard of.  And believe me, I studied Latin for two years and switched schools multiple times where I always seemed to be learning about the Greeks and Romans at each new place.

Books one and two were the best.  The series ended somewhat predictably for me but had some great fun in book five.  I also got my nephew into this series and that has been fabulous.  He loved the series and even moved on to other books by the same author.

The author’s site has this to say:

The gods of Olympus are alive and well in the 21st Century! They still fall in love with mortals and have children who are half-god, half-human, like the heroes of the old Greek myths. Could you be one of those children?

To see the author’s site visit:

Rick Riordan – Author

To buy these books visit:

percy jackson series – Books

The Captain’s Log – blood song (Anthony Ryan)

Ahoy there me mateys!

blood song (Anthony Ryan)

Just finished book one of this trilogy series.  It is the second book I have read by this British novelist.  I am not sure where I heard about it but I do remember the person claiming this was one of the best modern fantasy trilogies.  Well the beginning was fun.

So, overall I love the main character, Vaelin Al Sorna.  The book is mostly told from his point of view.  He and his mates seem to be the heart of this story, and as I liked those characters that is a good thing.  I really liked the characters of Sollis, Dentos, and Frenis.  Unfortunately there are not enough women in this series.  I mean, the Order that Vaelin belongs in doesn’t allow for marriage or women so I get that on some level there is a reason for the absence.  One of the few women that do exist is Princess Lyrna, and I kinda hated her and had a hard time finding any compassion for her.  Two other women, Sherrin and Sella, are much better.

I also love most of the world building that was there but I wanted way more details.  The politics of the Orders are a little strange and the history of the world seems spotty, but the book did have plenty of plot twists so maybe we are just not meant to know yet.

The pace of the book was fairly good at the beginning and end but had a several low points in the middle, like where there is a skirmish in the woods that went on for too long, and I could have done without.  Also, the segments of the story told from the historian’s point of view were also not that interesting though I understood why they were there.

Could have probably been a shorter book overall in places with no major harm done.  My copy was 575 pages.  When I went to pick up the second novel I realized that I have no real interest in continuing the story.  I don’t need to know what happens next.  Perhaps this series will work better for ye . . . but I am done.

The author’s website has this to say about the novel:

An epic fantasy exploring themes of conflict, loyalty and religious faith. Vaelin Al Sorna, Brother of the Sixth Order, has been trained from childhood to fight and kill in service to the Faith. He has earned many names and almost as many scars, acquiring an ugly dog and a bad-tempered horse in the process. Ensnared in an unjust war by a king possessed of either madness or genius, Vaelin seeks to answer the question that will decide the fate of the Realm: …who is the one who waits?

To visit the author’s website go to:

Anthony Ryan – Author

To buy the novel visit:

blood song – Book

The Captain’s Log – the girl with all the gifts (M.R. Carey)

Ahoy there me mateys!

the girl with all the gifts (M.R. Carey)

This book was a terrific sci-fi thriller that once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down.  The story stars Melanie, a brilliant young girl that everyone is terrified of.  I could get into the whys of it, but of course then the discovery would be spoiled.  Though I wish I could discuss all the details with ye because I loved it so.

Let us just say that the book is a post-apocalyptic novel set in the United Kingdom.  The story is told from multiple points of view.  The main character is weird, surprising, interesting, and thoughtful.  All the characters were extremely well written.  My opinions of them kept shifting throughout the book which was awesome.  Part of that was the plot and the other part was when due to the switch of getting another character’s perspective.  Melanie’s relationship with Ms. Justineau seems to be the heart of the story.  Though this story has love, it is certainly no picnic.  And the ending just about broke my heart.  Wonderful magical ending but so not what I expected.  Do yourself a favor and pick up this book if you haven’t.  It’s just that good.

Side note: It’s being made into a film.  Who knew . . .

Amazon has this to say about the novel:

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

The Girl With All the Gifts is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.

To visit the author’s page on his publisher’s website go to:

Orbitbooks – M. R. Carey – Author

To buy the novel go to:

the girl with all the gifts – Book

Sailing to the Stars – starflight (Melissa Landers)

Ahoy there me mateys!

starflight (Melissa Landers)

This was a fun little space romp with romance.  I loved the main character of Solara.  The love interest, Doran, was the perfect jerk guy who comes around to be not so bad.  The eccentric crew is fun.  The ship’s mascot rocks.  The plot did not lead me to deep pondering or philosophical thinking but it was entertaining.  The whole crew is full of banter and snarkiness that was right up my alley.  And there are space pirates (Arrrrr!).  Basically there is one major disaster after the other.  I thought the ending’s plot twist was a little strange but I thought “Fluff book.  Go with it.”  The world building was light, the actual science was light, and it is cheesy.  If you just want quick fast entertainment with silliness then this book might be for you.

Side Note: There is going to be a companion novel, starfall, that I will pick up when it eventually comes out.

Amazon’s website has this to say about the novel:

Solara Brooks needs a fresh start, someplace where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. The outer realm may be lawless, but it’s not like the law has ever been on her side.

Still, off-world travel doesn’t come cheap; Solara is left with no choice but to indenture herself in exchange for passage to the outer realm. She just wishes it could have been to anyone besides Doran Spaulding, the rich, pretty-boy quarterback who made her life miserable in school.

The tables suddenly turn when Doran is framed for conspiracy on Earth, and Solara cons him into playing the role of her servant on board the Banshee, a ship manned by an eccentric crew with their own secrets. Given the price on both Doran and Solara’s heads, it may just be the safest place in the universe.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Melissa Landers – Author

To buy the book go to:

starflight – Book

The Captain’s Log – vessel (Sarah Beth Durst)

Ahoy there me mates!

vessel (Sarah Beth Durst)

A lovely book.  A desert girl has been raised her whole life to be a vessel for a god.  On the day of her death, the god does not come.  But what happens after?  This story was fabulous.

The female protagonist, Liyana, is strong, intelligent, and all things you would want in a girl character.  Not that I would expect less from this particular author.  The secondary characters were just as great and uniquely drawn and a crucial part of the storytelling.

Intertwined throughout the narrative were stories and traditions and myths of the tribes that enriched the telling and made me smile.  These stories had the feel of Native American and African myths, among others, and drew me further into the story.  The reading went by quickly and when I was finished, I wished there was more, even though the ending needed no changing.  A strong recommendation from a wonderful author.

The author’s website has this to say about the novel:

Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. The goddess will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But Liyana’s goddess never comes. Abandoned by her angry tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her . . .

To visit the author’s website go to:

Sarah Beth Durst – Author

To buy the book visit:

vessel – Book